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Kick Ass Kitcheri Insta Pot Recipe

Updated: Jun 6

A Ayurveda Spring Recipe by Nandini Natasha Austin

Bowl of homemade recipe Moong Dhal - Mung Dal
A Bowl of Kicheri made by Nandini Austin

Finding Balance with this Sattvic Kitchari Recipe

With so many fad diets bombarding us with claims like “all carbs are bad” or “you need more protein,” it’s easy to get confused about what to eat to achieve and maintain your health goals. The reality is that every body is unique and may need different nutrients at different times.

If you often feel tired, struggle with intense cravings, have trouble focusing, suffer from sleeplessness, or can’t seem to get your digestive system working properly, a simple yet powerful kitchari cleanse can make a big difference. This cleanse not only detoxifies your digestive system but also helps you bring balance into your life, promoting harmony in both your mind and body.

Eating Based on Your Energy

In Ayurveda, our constitution is made up of three doshas, which are energy patterns that govern our thinking and behavior. While everyone has a mix of all three doshas, typically one or two are more predominant. By understanding your constitution, which you will learn during a cleanse, you can discover which foods and activities help balance your doshas. This knowledge empowers you to create and maintain a state of harmony in your life.

Embarking on a kitchari cleanse not only refreshes your body but also guides you towards a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle tailored to your unique energy needs.

What does Saatvic Mean?

Kitcheri considered a sattvic food meaning that once consumed you feel light and energized. In Ayurveda, all foods have distinct Gunas (Qualities) which can affect your mind and emotions positively or adversely. 

Sattva: that which is calm and peaceful. 

Rajas: that which is active and restless. 

Tamas: that which is dull and dark. 

Usually Sattvic foods are prepared by hand from natural ingredients,cooked and eaten in moderate amounts, sitting down , taking your time to digest leaving you satisfied.

Kitcheri is made with Moong Dhal, the Queen' of Pulses for nothing. because just 1 cup serving of cooked Moong dal  =15 grams of fiber, which is 60 % recommended of your daily value of fiber serving. Also the fiber prolongs stomach emptying, which improves absorption of nutrients and provides satiety after eating which controls hunger

It can also aid with

  •   Lowering cholesterol,

  •   Improving Liver Function 

  • Balancing Your Blood Sugar Levels

  • Improving immunity

  • Good for liver function

You can truly be artistic with in what you add into the your kitcheri, you can throw in as few or as many ingredients into the pot, and it will still turn out yummy. That's because it's such a simple fail safe dish.I serve it up to my family at least once a week and it's great as a warming dish on a winters day.

This is the simplest recipe  There’s no cream, no butter, but I like to add some coconut milk at the end for some creaminess. This is pure comfort food and every time I make it I feel like its an act of self love.

So enjoy the recipe below and remember, cooking should be an act of love, and a mix of trial and error. I for one have never been into EXACT ingredients, so adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that feel free to tweak the spices and play around with the flavors, I love to have as much fun as possible in my life and the kitchen especially. So enjoy

Bowl of Mung Dal Ayurveda recipe nourishing cooking
Kitcheri Ingredients

This Kitcheri recipe is so easy to make in the Instapot and I get my children to help with the prep so they learn about spices, and herbs and develop a wide range of tastes from a young age.

As a family, we enjoyed this dish on a spring day. We served it with a dollop of yogurt on top and chopped fresh cilantro and some bread for dipping or basmati rice.

I hosted this community cooking class together with the holistic healthcare community on Healthy eating ,Nature connection, joyful movement during the cold season. In the class I demonstrated just how easy it is to make this Moorish dish . Everyone loved the dhal

So try this feel-good winter recipe below that is made with love. It's sure to provide you with a warming to your belly on these cold winter days.

Kick Ass Kitcheri

Bowl of soaked Mung Dal . Moon Dhal pulses
Soaking the dhal removes the Phytic acid - so allows for better digestion

The Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil (or sub coconut milk for oil-free)

  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds (or sub half as much ground cumin)

  • 1 tsp whole mustard seeds (or sub half as much mustard powder)

  • 2 ½ Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup basmati white rice

  • 3/4 cup split yellow moong dal (or sub red lentils, but kitchari is typically made with mung beans)

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (plus more to taste)

  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)

  • 3 ½ cups water

  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (optional // for creaminess, richness // sub more water if omitting)



  • In a 6-quart (or larger) Instant Pot, turn the SAUTÉ function to LOW (on the Duo Nova model, do this by pressing the sauté button a couple of times or until the screen reads “low”). Once hot, add coconut or avocado oil (or coconut milk if oil-free), press “CANCEL”, and then add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and stir until toasted and fragrant (the residual heat after pressing “CANCEL” will toast them without burning).

  • Add all remaining ingredients except coconut aminos — so ginger, carrot, rice, moong dal, cardamom, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, sea salt, water, and light coconut milk (optional // if omitting coconut milk, sub more water). Stir to combine.

  • Put on the Instant Pot lid and turn to seal. Pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes (it will take about 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins). Once the timer goes off, let the steam release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. If in a hurry, you can carefully quick release.

  • I like to garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon or lime juice

  • Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop, stirring frequently, until warmed (add more water or some vegetable broth as needed if dry).

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